The word or number 40 is in the Bible 102 times. 102 times God had done some very ordinary and some very significant things with the number 40
- It rained for 40 days and nights and the earth was flooded and destroyed (Gen Ch 7)
- The flood continued to build and flooded the world for 40 days (Gen Ch 7)
- Noah waited 40 days before sending out the first raven in search of land. (Gen Ch 7)
- Abraham pleaded with God from 50-45-40-35 … and so on to spare Sodom (Gen Ch 18)
- Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah (Gen. 25:20) – they became the parents of Jacob and Esau
- It took 40 days to embalm a body (Gen 50:3)
- Moses was 40 when he killed the Egyptian (Ex 2, Act 7:23-24))
- Moses stayed on the mountain with God for 40 days and came back down with the Ten Commandments (Ex. Ch 34)
- Moses and his people wandered the dessert for 40 years “until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone” (Numbers 32)
- Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights – during this period he was tempted by Satan (Matthew Ch 4, Mark Ch 1, Luke Ch 4)
- Paul received 40 lashes minus one (2 Cor 11)
So, as I stated briefly above, I know of Lent as a Catholic thing. I’m not Catholic so what do I know and why do I do it? Well, I went to this non-denominational church as a kid. They did a lot of Catholic traditions. It was like Catholic-lite. Plus I lived in a neighborhood where we were surrounded by Catholics. So, when everyone else was giving something up I figured I might as well too. Now, I do it because as an adult I can choose to focus on God. I can spend 40 days focusing on him and his awesomeness because I choose to. I could choose any 40 day period I suppose but I choose this 40 day period.
People fast. They give up food, drink, smoking, candy, starches, meat, etc. What am I doing? I’m doing 2 things.
First -- I am following a specific diet plan for the next 40 days. I will be following the 17 Day Diet. This diet works in phases – 17 days at a time. The first phase begins tomorrow officially. The plan includes diet and exercise guides so I’ll be doing both starting tomorrow.
Second – I will be spending an hour a day in Bible Study. I desire to do this anyway but just don’t. So I am committing to studying 1 hour each day. I have 2 study books to choose from – Esther (my personal hero) or my One Little Word – Trust.